In a remarkably ‘un-connected’ move from Google, Maps now has a new ‘download map area’ feature that allows you to scour the local terrain even if you don’t have a mobile signal.
Sure, this vision of an ever-connected future is inching close, but right now, you still can’t get a mobile signal in parts of Somerset, so it pays to take some insurance. Google announced the new feature via its official blog, saying “what if you don’t have a data signal, or you’re abroad and don’t have a data plan? We say that if you use Google Maps for mobile, you’ll never need to carry a paper map again.”
Given that getting a decent GPS signal in particularly built up urban areas can be an issue, we think it’s high-time Google dropped this feature in for convenience’s sake alone. Ok, so they might take a bit of flak from a few quarters for introducing an offline feature into their connected utopia, but its about practicalities and it’s about how you actually use your device, and if you’re 5 minutes late for a meeting, the last thing you want to be doing is standing around outside a tube station waiting for a GPS fix.
Sometimes necessity should override brand values. Just sometimes. Thanks Google.